Has Nullsec attained an equilibrium?

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"There is also the very pertinent issue of numbers: both coalitions can field a number of complete fleets at one time, and both fighting each other would become nigh-on unplayable and would defeat the purpose of looking for fun."We can safely say last night proved this to be true
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I would assume though once Dust hits nullsec, this will change. Those mercs will be itching to shoot stuff, which in its own way will cause constant disturbances linked to it.
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somebody studies social science at uni!
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Use supers to grind structures, it goes much quicker. Which usually happens when you use proper tools for the job.
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It still takes weeks with timers and burn out from shooting things that don't shoot back and doing the logistics to move everything around is still hell.
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all this peace mongering is hurtin my pew pew soul
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Is this EVE News 24? This sort of one sided, pseudoscience claptrap certainly makes it seem like it.
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In your fourth paragraph, you describe punctuated equilibrium as "periods of stability followed with periods of rapid change." Then in the next paragraph, you say that "null security space has been in a state of constant change, never finding an equilibrium, until recently." Since the rate of change has supposedly been "constant" for the majority of Eve's existence, you seem to have falsified your own hypothesis.
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The only way to make null not be boring , is to make the systems live , like in real universe:make entire Null sec solar systems collapse , POP new one , and of course change the mechanisms of sov
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oh you know, having it so you can only put stations up to 5 in one system in a constellation. There are just way to many stations in 0.0
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Wow, another coalition piece........
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I think the pretense is spot on. Finally someone who gets the gist of it!You have some trouble translating it to gameworld examples though and miss some important targets, as well as the chance to convince others of the precision of your article. Many will write it off as technobabble (or in this case, biobabble). The concept of eco-systems and the comparison to progressive evolution and revolutionary disturbances is an interesting starting point so let me help you expand on it:I think you are giving some of the changes too little credit (considering the Supernerfs one after another essentially created IT-alliance and the HBC in the same foray; existing entities expanding their numbers tenfold to adjust for the numerical arms race). They are important because it upset the balance of financial resources and human resources.Most importantly though, even if i really enjoy seeing someone else describe it in terms of strategy and direction: is that you forgot to mention or translate that almost any change CCP have done; have also resulted in further advantages to the numerically advantegeous. I've used that analogy as a little pun on "Malcanis' law" for a number of years now, and jestingly called it "Noisrevbus' law". While Malcanis' law states that any targeted changes for the younger playerbase end up serving the older playerbase better, Noisrevbus' law states the similar for larger (and older) player-groups (corporations, alliances, coalitions).The conclusion of both "laws" is that CCP should engage in "full spectrum" design rather than targeted design that just end up serving the opposite and fracture the community further. You balance and counter-balance every aspect of EVE to include every player of EVE.This is can be exemplified in a couple of ways...As themeparks:If you create Wormholes because you are incapable of balancing the rest of Nullsec (or FW because you are equally incapable of balancing Lowsec), you create a themepark within the existing sandbox that will begin to vye for your attention and draw resources away from the sandbox.As direction:If you (in the sandbox; or the playground as a whole, should you imagine two kids on a swingboard) implement a change to one end of the (eco-) system yet leave it without counter-weight the ride will collapse and have one bum firmly planted in the sandbox.That last bit is the stump that tie the knot to what i'm trying to say: wether it's significant disturbances or less impactful changes they have all followed the direction of making numbers better.Let's look at that as well shall we?Nerfing Super HP and making sure they "need subcap support" doesn't mean existing groups will shed Supers in favour of more subcaps (especially not when Capitals can fill the need for subcaps anyway). What it will do instead is require more Supers (to overcome total mass of buffer and repairs), more ships (to fill the subcap need) and incidentally promote Capital support (since they can fire "subcap weapons", with better buffers and better projection). This nerf to Supers ended up feeding numbers as there was no equal counter-balance to numbers. It doesn't matter if nerfing Supers itself was warranted, as CCP left scaling unchecked.Nerfing Canes and Drakes or HML provide a similar example. CCP decided not to touch the fact that those ships were fielded because they were cheap to replace. They left numbers unchecked and instead embarked on a major resdesign-trip that has gobbled several expansions and alot of resources while the true plights of the game are still festering. There was nothing wrong with the old ship-balance beyond the fact that CCP have botched their economy and scaling. A Cruiser was appropriately powerful to a Battlecruiser - given it's pricetag prior to insurance. The same goes for a BC1 compared to a BC2 - it was 25% weaker but also 25% cheaper: prior to insurance. Do you see a trend here?Nerfing Damps and ECM improved Secondary tackle (Webs, Scrams, Neuts; the tackle with stopping power) and Logis. That means CCP altered the balance between damage volume and control (regarding Logi) as well as grid control between sensors and mobility; and with that the balance between catching and escaping. That last bit is important because it raised the value of numbers (superior numbers playing offensively from an advantageous position). It is also what (after the nano-nerf) cemented the rise of the Drake. Drakes didn't really kill most gangs they encountered: LR secondary tackle with Logi-support did. That's what cemented the projection-buffer tactics over all else.Now examine each of these isolated and wildly different examples, and then consider how much they have in common. All of them point in the same direction: cost-efficiency, grid-control and buffer-projection.It's been the winning concept for years. Take the grid, control it, push hostiles off it wether that is with something little, such as LR-webs and blap or something huge, such as putting systems in 100% CPU and full TiDi.All of these issues are one and the same direction: CCP's direction.
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Maybe i need to clarify the "direction" standpoint. It's a question of repetition. A hammer hitting a nail. Some strokes may be harder than others, but they are all driving the same direction.
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I also realize my last few examples tried to cover a bit too many pokes at once for each example so it explained the issue of two-pronged pokes or causality poorly.ie., if you lower the HP of Supers they will come closer to the damage of a certain number of subcaps. That means that further repairs are required to stabilize the shift in balance, so that means more Supers become more increasingly more powerful than some Supers. You could argue more of them would die and that's a good thing, but that assumes players don't adapt. The miscalculation CCP did with this change is that they didn't consider that subcaps (Maelstroms) of existing fleet-sizes already alpha anything but Supers so there is no other alternative and "Supers" subsequently turned into "more Supers". The change itself isn't bad, it's just that it didn't account for cause-effect and left number of subcaps unchanged.The same thing goes for how the ECM-nerf didn't really make RR stronger, but numbers stronger through the medium of RR. What it did was take away a counter to RR, making all other existing counters stronger. One of those counters was alpha. Alpha which unlike ECM scales arbitrarily with numbers, similar to RR. So while it did make RR stronger as it lost one counter-point, it also made two arbi-scaling mechanics stronger while removing one option that didn't involve scaling.The effects of this can be seen quite clearly in recent development. First it created the Drake upscale where Drakes went on to beat every HAC concept one by one as you'd simply "out cost-effect" the further you raised scale: first NHAC, then SHAC and finally AHAC. At least the two latter were actually "counter-concepts" to Drakes - but more, more and more Drakes finally countered them. In any reasonable form of setting both SHAC and AHAC have the potential to beat Drakes easily 1:2 all the way up to 1:4 or such. Up until the point where the better reach or better sig/tank begin to mean less than reshipping after losses, and the better survivability mean less since everything dies anyway.That also tie into Recon-use and trends of BS sniping. When every EW-effect and thus every Recon was put into the reach of the majority of ships in the game, you also shifted the value of Recons between a larger group and a smaller group. If everything can hit everything and kill everything every time, then the use of two-tackle Recons (ensuring you score kills) is increasingly more powerful among the numerically superior.See, even such small things tend to spiral and follow the same direction.
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I think I'm in love with you.
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Yes, there are many environmental factors at work. The problem with your argument is that it only accounts for one of them.What's going to happen, for instance, when the veteran power brokers finally step aside? Will the Mittani's or Shadoo's successors be as much of a stabilizing influence? And what if Dust 514 is a bust? What will CCP feel they need to do to survive in that case?In the whole history of Eve, we have only one example of a period of stasis, and that's occurring in the present. We can't extrapolate from that unique instance to the future.
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So a relatively miniscule period of stability completely disregards all previous periods of instability in your eyes. In a closed system this might be true, but this isn't a closed system. And it involves human beings. Just like in Fight Club, "given a long enough time scale, the life expectancy for everyone drops to zero.", as will your so-called equilibrium.
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wah, wah.. You're right. The game isn't fun for Goons anymore. Feel free to unsub and never come back.
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Maybe the depends on which side of the fight you were on.
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this explains the quality of your articleat least take some time and read humberto maturana to get an insight on how biologists think about environment as an influence on systems:MATURANA, Humberto. Autopoiesis and Cognition: The Realization of the Livingafter you red it you will also have an other point of view about social science. at least if you are not an idiot.
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Maturana is a biologist. Try harder.And his publications about understanding organisms as autopoetic systems, which has to be distinguished from allopoetic systems, as living systems should be common in modern biology science. Interesting how do you define what is significant and what not. Maybe Richard Dawkins is significant for you?I hope you do at least know how to describe a System accordingly, when you use such terms in your artice. And in addition to your scientific principle. What is your purpose of your artice anyway if not prediction? Or do you decline that changing tech will change something implies a prediction?You claim yourself as a biologist but your article is clearly a matter of social science as you refer to human behavior. as changing tech will have an inpact of the stability of X. You do not mention what exactly X is. But your entire article would make absolut no sense if that X would not be a social system or at least a product of a social system.I totally agree with you that changes in the environment of a system will have an impact on that system which might cause instability. i hope more people start to see eve this way. but why for gods sake do you believe this is not a valid method of social science too? espescially as your article refers to that method. and as you see that method as a valid method in the principles of science, why is it not valid anymore in social science?In addition. I loled at "observation and prediction are two defining features of the scientific principle" Yeah if you follow scientic principles of the 19th century ...
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How does distinguishing 'autopoetic' systems do anything? From what I've read, Maturana just pulled the term out of his ass to describe something that doesn't affect anything. He may as well rename a colour for all its use. Through what kinds of experimentation did he arise to this conclusion about 'autopoietic' systems (term that I've never heard before, and I'm a behavioural ecologist)? None is the answer. Also, I fail to see your attachment with this particular philosopher (I see no reference to any science in his publications) considering even his own brethren discredit his work.Yes, the purpose of my article is prediction. Something Maturana does not. The fact social 'sciences' and philosophy are not sciences isn't choosing what is significant and what isn't, it's a statement of fact. Neither of the two subjects in question investigate their 'discoveries' because they involve no investigating. Neither are able to an outcome in a given system.There is a distinct line between 'human behaviour' and 'social science'. Regardless, I fail to see how I am applying any measure of 'social science' in this article: I'm referring to EVE as an ecosystem and the application of evolutionary principles within it.Regarding your final comment, I fail to see where those two scientific cornerstones are only applicable to the 19th century. Good luck getting respected by any of your fellow peers without including either of them in your research!
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first of all. eve is an artefakt. people made it. thus said it is a product of human behavior. second, all the emergent stuff from player interaction in the game is human behavior. third, all changes made to the game is an product of human behavior. you can explain stuff in eve using biological terms (like your eco-system) refering to nature laws which might have an objective truth. their property of objective truth allows you as a scientist to follow the principe of observation and prediction and get certain insight. but in the case of your article the usage of biological terms has only quality as a metaphorical usage, because you cant decline the fact that you refer to something that is product of human behavior. human behavior is not predictable. at least not that kind of human behavior you refer in your article. one of the reasons it does not work is that we cant observe a human being to 100%. In a highly theoretical point of view it might be possible as human beings consists out of materia and those elements underlie the same natur laws as everything in our universe. the same nature laws which are in more simple cases (especially in controlled scenarios) are easy to predict. but to observe a human being enough to make valid predictions is simply not practical. not only for us as players but also in general. and if you would read maturana it is even impossible for science.But dont worry he actually provides (if you would read him) an alternative way of scientic method, which is very successfull in certain biology related science. maybe you heard about scientist like Heinz von Foerster (brain research), Gerhard Roth (brain research, biology) Paul von Glaserfeld (Cybernetics) and Paul Watzlawick (psychology). They are all profs at american universities or do research at well known scientific institutes. and they all follow the way of thinking Maturana was able to write down for mortals like you and me. surprisingly you already applied somehow to this method as you mentioned that changing the "eco-system" will have an effect to X. It is more or less the only thing which i can underline and what makes your article interesting. sadly it is not very insightful because thats what ccp already do or have been done since ever. when they change gamemechanics the player reacts to that change and you can observe a change in player behavior.What i wanted to say in my ever-longer comments is that you might have the ability to provide much better articles, if you reevaluate your way of thinking. if you do so you might even understand what it means to observe. every observation implies a theory on what and how you observe. the same is true for predictions too. Maturana provides a theory that also applies to the "how and what" of observations and predictions which simply fits better for stuff-going-on in eve.
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well then.go on observing evolution in a computergame and start predicting that "something" will change "somehow" when "something" changes. it is all what you have said. using so much words and wasting everybodies time. congratulations ...
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Obviously this debate falls short on both sides, as Evolution is not a proven theory and God made... ach I cannot even say it even for trolling.. it is too dumb!I think ye both have a point, but I lean more towards this being a job for the social-study nerds.

SO MUCH BORING GRINDING...

Interrogate any number of players involved in null-sec sovereignty warfare and a significant percentage will declare that EVE is stagnating. Granted, this is not everyone's opinion: some consider this to be another of EVE's periodic "boring" periods. While history would support that idea, proponents are operating under the assumption that the "state of null" is similar to what it was previously. Yet some subtle differences are apparent: never have null sec coalitions been so large, never have players been so rich, and never have players cared so little about system control. The current SOLAR front is crumbling despite supposedly being the next great conflict, and nothing but more grinding awaits players on both sides of the war.

If one observes the four most prominent nullsec entities (CFC, HBC, N3, Russian/SOLAR bloc), just as in previous years, most of them represent different player identities and mindsets. While one of the four coalitions is relatively new, the three others (especially the CFC and Russians) extend back a number of years. Blocs with similar identities (though with much smaller player numbers) have existed for most of EVE's lifetime. The subtle difference with previous years is that these blocs have all had the time to test each other (bar the CFC and HBC, but more on that later).

DARWIN, STEP RIGHT IN!

One of the great aspects of evolutionary theory is that it can be applied to all kinds of systems, not just biological ones (the fields of memetics and entymology, for example). In a way, EVE is an ecosystem with a given number of inhabitants and rules that affect whether the inhabitants survive and grow. For all intents and purposes, the four coalitions within the system are the four individuals surviving in an environment where there is a given amount of finite resources - moons, sov, whatever. 

Contrary to popular belief, evolutionary progression is sudden: there is little evidence for progressive changes through time, but rather sudden, quick (in geological terms) shifts brought on by environmental changes. In layman's terms, stability between different entities is a consequence of a lack of change in the environment. This is called 'punctuated equilibriums', periods of stability followed with periods of rapid change. It's quite applicable to things like global politics: the last 30 odd years have been 'stable' with the dominant presence of the US, and there is an important politico-economic shift to the growing strength of Asian nations due to changes in the economic environment. 

How is this applicable to EVE? Every expansion or patch from CCP has served to constantly change the gaming environment in EVE. As a result, null security space has been in a state of constant change, never finding an equilibrium, until recently. When were the last significant  disturbances to the 0.0 environment? The tech 'nerf' and changes to supers come to mind in recent memory, but neither had a significant impact on the gaming environment (both tech and supers remain hugely valuable assets, if not the most valuable ones). Time dilation fills this role as well, benefiting all nullsec blocs equally. In the last few years, 0.0 has had a chance to stablize.

A pecking order has been established and no amount of player interaction will likely change that. The dark 'smoke-filled rooms' of high politicking ensure that such an order will remain. What makes EVE stand out from other games is its persistent universe: very few games can claim to have a multiplayer environment that lasts for more than a few years, never mind a decade. While in many ways this plays to EVE's strengths, it also means that problems that would not have time to formulate in other MMOs do start appearing over time.

Null sec, after years of changes, has finally reached a punctuated equilibrium. The boredom seen in much of 0.0 space is just a symptom of this greater problem. This is why CCP needs to have a drastic and immediate look into how sovereignty functions and disturb the gaming environment. The tech nerf could have done such a thing, but it was so diluted that there was little impact (aside from those with the most tech making even more ISK). Unlike in the natural world, equilibriums in EVE are bad because they equate to lost subscriptions. In a way, this effectively makes 0.0 (and any other EVE component) effectively un-fixable in this regard: regardless of how good a fix CCP deploys for sovereignty, eventually the system will stabilise itself. Not only does CCP need to fix the current (flawed) mechanics, they need to continue changing the null sec environment perpetually to create instabilities.

For example, what would have been likely to happen if technetium had been properly nerfed? There would have been a sudden spat of wars to obtain the new moons of relevance, certainly, but after that? Coalitions would finish in the same state as they are now, looking for someone to fight but knowing there was no one worthy (either no one strong enough to win, or no one weak enough to lose).

CCP'S NEW STRATEGY A PROBLEM

Given the need to destabilise the systems constantly, at first glance CCP's new development strategy involving progressive iterations throughout many areas would seem beneficial. However, given the scope of the work they are putting themselves up for, it likely means that the progress/changes in each area will be significantly lowered due to limited resources. Another aspect of ecosystems that hasn't been discussed is increased stability with complexity. Obviously, the EVE environment is relatively complex, and consequently non-significant disturbances are unlikely to upset the system. CCP's new strategy would effectively mean that they would try to wake up a drunk with a drop of water rather than a bucket. The former may have a bit of an effect, perhaps creating a war or two, but the latter is more likely to create a torrent of wars. 

There are ways to include 'natural' disturbances into the game without requiring constant interventions from CCP. Many advocated moons with limited resources as a solution to the tech problem, and while this is a flawed fix for the tech problem, it would certainly create instability. If, say, incursions into 0.0 had an effect on sov, and that the location of those incursions was random, it would create 'natural' instabilities in the same way a hurricane of fire would affect an ecosystem. There are plenty of other ways to create such instabilities that become obvious, and it is likely that such things would create conflicts in some form. 

 

N.B. I realise that many will perhaps consider this article ill-advised given the current tensions between the CFC and the HBC. However, I do believe that a dominant coalition between the two exists and is known to the two entities. I also believe that given the current game mechanics no actual war would start aside from looking for some fun and some goodfights (i.e. no SOV-taking). There is also the very pertinent issue of numbers: both coalitions can field a number of complete fleets at one time, and both fighting each other would become nigh-on unplayable and would defeat the purpose of looking for fun.

[name_1]
Member of Nulli Secunda. Have been playing Eve for close to four years, already hit by bittervet syndrome. I've played a number of games over the years and generally dab in every game that's fun.